Dead man in Belfast CS spray incident named

The scene of the incident
The scene of the incident

A man is dead after an incident in which the PSNI used CS spray in central Belfast.

Police had attended the scene on Great Victoria Street at roughly 5am on Thursday.

They said they had responded to a report of “a violent male”, who was taken to hospital “for treatment for injuries sustained in the incident”.

The Police Ombudsman – which is investigating what happened – said officers had reacted to a “disturbance, believed to have centred on an altercation with taxi drivers.

An ombudsman spokesman said: “During the incident police officers used CS spray against the man who later became unwell.

“He received medical attention at the scene before being transferred to hospital.”

The scene on Thursday morning

The scene on Thursday morning

Then, just before 8pm last night, the ombudsman announced that he had died.

Gerry Kelly, Sinn Fein MLA for Belfast North, issued a statement naming the victim as Gerard McMahon, adding that the “investigation must be thorough so that his grieving family get the full facts as quickly as possible”.